What is forgiveness? Why does one forgive? For those of us who have been pained by another person, particularly a person of a past relationship, to forgive may feel impossible. It may feel that the act of forgiveness would be a way of saying that the painful event or relationship did not occur. It is important to understand that forgiving does not erase the reality of the incidents that occurred. The act of forgiving simply opens up a space in the forgiver from which to live more fully.
The beauty of forgiving or being forgiven is that we are the ones who heal as we forgive. In the words of Oscar Wilde, “. . . it is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.”
When we do not forgive a person, we are financing the ill feelings or the lack of forgiveness with our energy. Lack of forgiveness then can lead to illness in the person who is unable to forgive. It becomes like a sword with a curved blade. Or in some cases, you may choose not to forgive because there is a feeling of power and control. This form of power is NOT true power. There is no power in holding a victim stance.
So how do you forgive?
At some point you have to retell the story in a more empowered way and be willing to let it go. Instead of holding yourself to be a victim, you must be able to witness a “bigger picture” than what you believe occurred. What did you learn from this experience? How did this event contribute to your overall growth and development?
Forgiving is about letting go of the past and deciding that you are now the hero and author of your life story. Forgiving is about comfort, kindness, and gentleness to your own soul. Above all, it about liberating yourself!